Kristin Harila: Bruised but Ready for the Next 8,000’er

On Wednesday, six days after summiting Nanga Parbat, Kristin Harila was still in Skardu. Since she is aiming to climb all five of Pakistan’s 8,000m peaks this season, every day counts. But unexpected problems delayed the Norwegian climber and the 8k Expedition team. The weather was bad earlier this week but most of all, she needed recovery time after a big rock struck her leg as she was descending from Nanga Parbat.

“It happened nearly at the end when I was approaching Base Camp,” she told ExplorersWeb. Luckily, the blow was just painful; no bones were broken. “I am fine, but I needed a couple of days to rest and recover.”

Going up better than going down

As with other recent Nanga Parbat climbers, Harila’s ascent went well despite the lack of ropes. But the descent was “scary due to ice and rock fall.”

Harila, bruised but ready to continue.

 

“The mountain is quite technical, especially between Camps 1 and 2,” Harila said. “On the summit push, we took 11.5 hours from a higher Camp 3 to the summit.

“At first, we advanced slowly because Pasdawa, Dawa Ongchu, and Chhiring fixed some ropes to Camp 4. From that point, there were no ropes at all and we climbed short-roped, but otherwise, I saw no big problem on the final sections.”

The leg injury has encouraged Harila to avoid the five-day trek up the Baltoro. Instead, she has paid the “very expensive” fee for a helicopter flight to K2 Base Camp. That was scheduled for July 7, weather permitting.

Harila’s summit picture.

 

During her time in Skardu, Harila also kept tabs on her friend, Shehroze Kashif, who was stranded on Nanga Parbat until yesterday.

From K2 Base Camp, Harila and her team will decide which mountain to attempt first, K2 or Broad Peak. “It will depend on conditions, weather, and also on the situation on the mountains,” she said.

Harila and an unidentified member of her team with Pasang Lhamu Sherpa (left), who also summited on July 1. Photo: Pasang Lhamu

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides is a college-graduated journalist specializing in high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.